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August 06, 2006

Reutergate!

Small Dead Animals names the scandal. That's it. She got it. So stop trying to come up with anything better.

Via Michelle, who has lots of updates and links. And also commentary from professional photographers at SportsShooter.com. The consensus: The only thing that makes them even doubt this is fake is that it is soooooooooo unbelievably fake.

Also from Michelle: Reuters' stated editorial policy:

“Our policy is to send news to our customers only after scrutiny by a group of production editors who ensure quality standards are maintained across all our news services. When we get something wrong, our policy is to be honest about errors and to correct them promptly and clearly.”

Uh-huh. I guess we'll see, huh?


Flopping Aces has more good stuff.

A commenter there manipulated the pic's brightness to make the 'shopping more obvious. He points to the smoke; I say, ignore the smoke, that's so friggin' obvious you don't need to play with brightness to see it. Rausch ipsa loquitor.

Instead, look down in the bottom left corner. Now look up a bit-- you see the same building cloned again. L&R already caught that; fine. Now look up a bit more -- same building, cloned a third time. Fuzzier, now, as it's further in background, and hazed by "smoke" -- but it's the same damn building, cloned twice more above its original position (and slightly more to the right each time).

Also, at the middle of the ciy at the far right-- well, look, I'm sorry, but I have to say it. I see a muppet. I see a damn muppet-face. What that means, I don't know, but we all know about Bert's strange involvement with terrorism.

Flopping Aces also thinks he sees some suspicious pixelation in another photo by Mr. Adnan Hajj.

The Funny.

Zionist oppressors hit the Magic Kingdom.

This is going to make the Tourist Guy look like a one-off type deal. Like oh, here you go. (Taste/macabre content warning.)

Godzilla, the million-year-old, radioactive-fire-breathing Zionist.

Back To Serious Stuff.

Allah has more updates, and seems to have moved off his original contention that LGF didn't find the original photo somewhat. He claims that you can become a Blog Superstar by finding the Building That Wasn't There in the bottom right of the pic; I've looked, can't find it, so I say bs on Blog Superstar.

By the way-- that thing about LGF's "original photo" being from AP, while Adnan Hajj works for Reuters? Maybe he sells pictures to both. A search for "AP Adnan Hajj" finds a buttload of pictures from Lebanaon by "Adnan Hajj Ali." Same guy? I don't know. But let's not assume too quickly that Adnan Hajj (w/ or w/o "Ali") didn't take that first pic, too.

Say Anything reminds us that Reuters before photoshopped the infamous "May I go to the bathroom?" note from Bush.

However, in that case, Photoshop was used to artificially highlight what was actually printed on the note. The manipulation was done to reveal what was really there, but otherwise difficult to see without playing with the exposures. In that case, having embarrassed Bush for no very good reason, Reuters claimed:

"There was no malicious intent," he says. "That's not what we do."

Will they claim the same thing this time?

My Vast Right Conspiracy notes that Adnan Hajj has been called to task by the American Thinker for his work on the Hezbollywood production of The Qana Disaster. (Noted here, downpage, first, actually. Beat LGF on that one.)

H/t Old War Dogs with even more links.

EU Referendum earlier accused photographers, like Adnan Hajj, of complicity in participating in a propaganda exercise in endlessly parading the corpses of Qana.

This is important, folks.

Reuters, AP, et al. responded to EU Referendum's allegations, and stand behind the work of these photographers 100%, and say they would never participate in propaganda for Hezbollah.

Adnan Hajj was one of the very same photographers charged with conniving with Hezbollah then -- and Reuters "categorically denied" any such "suggestion."

Do they still stand behind their no-wiggle-room vouching for him?

Or would they like a moment to consult with counsel?

Note: I am unable to actually find what the Reuters statement said. Everyone paraphrases it the same way-- they "categorically denied any such suggestion." But I can't find the actual press release.

It would be interesting to find, yes-yes?

And speaking of Qana, and Adnan Hajj's great, Reuters- endorsed work there: Jihad Watch has been calling for quite a while for the non-alterable digital timestamps of the pictures to be released. If the press believes in openness, why does it continue to refuse? Why does it issue press statements calling the suggestions absurd while withholding the evidence they claim would utterly quiet such suggestions?

After this latest Hajj incident, I don't think the media's Pink Wall of Silence will be permitted to remain intact much longer.


Note: This picture is obviously faked, as the experts at SportsShooter.com attest. It's not even a question. It is fake.

There is room for debate for this and that, but I'm not going to put up with leftist reality-denying idiots who want to come in here and tell me to "take a vacation" or start accusing me of paranoia. Bannings will be swift and many. I really don't have time for such idiocy.

If a lefty blogger wants to post here that this picture is accurate, and put his reputation on the line behind that claim, I am more than willing to allow such a post, because within 24 hours the embarrassment of it will be simply delicious.

So Tbogg, Billmon, etc. -- you're more than welcome to claim the picture is real.

But anonymous liberal trolls with no reputation to protect -- no. Sorry. You can post your nonsense somewhere else.

More: Riehl World goes through the pictures in detail and notes all the duped buildings.

I'm especially happy he caught my triple-dupe trio in the bottom right -- everyone saw the first dupe, but not the second. I actually attempted a Paint shop of the pic, with red lines around the triple-cloned building; but it looked so childishly bad, with its drunkenly-shaky lines, that I decided to just try to explain with words what I was talking about.

I am willing to drop previous hesitation and just say: This IS a portion of the July 26 pic, with the buildings duped many times and screened with haze to make it appear to be a slightly different picture.

Which means -- just guessing -- either Adnan Hajj took that July 26 AP picture, or had access to a high-res version of it.

Or maybe someone other than Adnan Hajj actually did the manipulation of this photo. That's always a genuine, real possibility we cannot overlook, in the interests of fairness.*

* Note that "In the interests of fairness" is a term of art often used to mean "in the interests of protecting myself legally against a defamation suit, but who the fuck are we kidding, it's him, baby, no one but him, I know it, he knows it, the whole fuckin' world knows it, and as of Monday he will be out one job with Reuters (and the AP) and back to his regular gig as a Hezbollah political operative."

Afterthought: Lost In The Weeds: Here's the thing. The photo is obviously faked. One need only look at the clone-stamping of smoke shapes to know that.

The stuff about the buildings? Not really all that important. Really, that's a side issue-- proving which buildings were duped where is just useful in proving that LFG's proffered "original photo" is, in fact, the orignal photo, with some duping/remodeling of the city to disguise that fact. That's a fun interblog argument to have, with LGF saying "yes" and Allah saying "probably not, okay, maybe, okay, probably yes" and me saying "probably yes, but wait, Allah makes good points too, no, wait, probably yes after all," but, in the end, that's not really important.

It doesn't matter where the original photo came from, after all-- the important thing is that, wherever the original came from, the smoke plumes are 100% fake, and obviously so even to someone who knows nothing about photography, and that it was nonetheless offered to the world as genuine by Reuters' highly-trained, incredibly diligent editors.

And, further, that it was taken by a man, Adnan Hajj, previously suspected of complicity and connivance in Hezbollah propaganda in Qana, and Reuters vouched for his credibility and integrity, putting the whole of its own credibility on the line in order to defend him.

It would be fun to deterrmine, with complete accuracy, that the July 26th shot was just taken and played around with to form the doctored picture, but really, that's just nit-work.

Reuters lied. Reuters put out obviously fraudulent Hezbollah propaganda. Reuters put its entire institutional credibility on the line to vouch for the impeccable ethics and objectivity of Adnan Hajj.

We'll just have to see how that works out for them, eh?

And a big thing, too: Let's not ruin LGF's scoop by tossing out wild allegations about every single picture Adnan Hajj and Reuters have snapped in Lebanon. Where there is good reason to suspect further forgery, of course, say so.

But bloggers should be a little circumspect about just offering new claims of fraudulency based on little else but speculation and wishful thinking and just wanting to contribute.

There may be other forged photos out there. An quick look doesn't reveal any obvious candidates. That doesn't mean there aren't; Steven Glass claimed he'd only fabricated the Hack Heaven article when he got caught, but of course he actually had fabricated twenty or more (in whole or in part).

Still, any new allegations should be vetted first with other bloggers and with commenters/readers who are experts in photography and digital manipulation. A blog post is not really the best place to debut a serious allegation, nor the first time the allegation should be subject to outside scrutiny.

LFG scored big on Reuters. Really big.

Let's protect that score and not piss it away by taking wild, wing-and-a-prayer shots on goal that ultimately give the upper hand back to Reuters.

We don't want the Dextrosphere's credibility to sink to the level of Reuters'.


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posted by Ace at 02:05 AM

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